Braves 3, Mets Nil

Exactly the kind of game I thought we’d have a lot more of this year. Charlie Morton pitched like the guy who finished third in the Cy Young race two years ago, one-hitting the Mutts over seven innings with eleven strikeouts and two walks. A.J. Minter and Will Smith shut the door, allowing one hit and no walks in the final two innings.

Even the annoying things about this game were the kind of annoying things we’ve seen this team do too often in years when they finished first: namely, Dansby hit a three-run homer in the third inning, and then the offense promptly went into Hibernation Mode while the pitching staff somehow made the lead hold up.

The Mets had a rough time of it, with Marcus Stroman having to come out of the game after a single inning. They’re 37-31 and no one’s idea of a juggernaut. The Mets’ best player, Francisco Lindor, is hitting .212/.304/.351, the kind of contract year performance that makes Freddie Freeman’s free agency audition look positively Donaldsonian by comparison.

Games like this make it easy to believe that the Braves are just a winning streak away from being right back where they want to be. Now, they just have to figure out how to win more than four games in a row…

49 thoughts on “Braves 3, Mets Nil”

  1. Let’s temper our enthusiasm. When they achieve a plus 500 record I will believe.
    I do agree there are encouraging signs.
    There are also big holes. But they are in the right division.

  2. Went to the game tonight. The wind was blowing in monstrously, except for the moment Dansby hit his HR. It was weird.

    Early in the game, both Acuna & Freddie really tagged a couple of pitches that the big winds just knocked down & the balls were caught at the warning track.

    As evidenced by b2b shutouts, the Mets are not a very good offensive team at the moment (& Morton was a strike-throwing machine last night). They’re 14th in the NL in runs scored & that lineup tonight was less than imposing. Of course, with Game 4’s pitching matchup, we could see some runs & I hate to make it a battle of the bullpens… but I love the idea of winning 3 of 4 here.

    Do we leave town even or pick up 2 games in the standings? Time to make a move, fellas.

  3. Three games back has a lot nicer ring to it than five. Surprise me Braves, and maybe even find a way to score a run without the use of a home run.

  4. The Mets don’t look like a playoff caliber team. As frustrating as this year has been for Atlanta, I can’t imagine the abject failure of the Mets and Phillies who have gone through years of futility and spent a lot of money with very little to show for it. Actually I can, I was a Braves fan as a kid in the 70s and 80s.

  5. Such good writing on this site. Thanks Alex. No problems with having one big hit and Hibernation Mode. We have the best team wRC+ in the division, and it’s not close. We’re 11th, and Washington, Philly, and NY are 16th, 17th, and 18th respectively. You don’t have to be an offensive juggernaut to win this division. Pitch, play defense, and get a couple big hits a game.

    Big picture, I’m really interested to see what the offensive numbers look like league-wide at the end of the season. This has been a weird season so far.

    Also, I love Max Scherzer.

  6. I think none of us really knows how much the sticky substance enforcement will supercharge offense. It’s sort of like banning the zone defense – but whether it raises offense a little or raises it a lot, none of us quite knows yet.

    I’m on board in theory, since pitchers clearly had gotten too powerful, and basically everyone in baseball agreed Spider Tack was a bridge too far. But as with everything Manfred has done, the implementation was absolutely tone-deaf. There was no reason to ram it down players’ throats the way they did, when quite a lot of players would have supported this kind of change.

    I’m with you on Scherzer.

  7. IMO the Scherzer/Umps/Girardi fiasco yesterday was a huge black eye for MLB. This cannot continue this way. It’s a mockery. Just send out a )(&() memo to all 32 teams telling them what will be allowed and what won’t, have all the teams agree to the gentleman’s agreement as always and cut this nonsense.

    And yeah, Scherzer can play on my team any day.

  8. Chris Dimino, who does the Braves pre-game radio broadcast, suggested that the umpires change the way they rub up the balls before the game with the so-called “Delaware mud.” Would that prevent pitchers from gaining some sort of an edge?

  9. #5
    What’s keeping the Mets going is their overwhelmingly good starting pitching (1st in MLB). Stroman & Walker have been terrific, while deGrom has been otherworldly — and their closer, Edwin Diaz, has been good. He hasn’t given up a HR (yet).

  10. Diaz is hard to be afraid of, given what he did just a couple of years ago. At the end of the day, year-in year-out the Mets are always less than the sum of their parts. Of course, as weak as the division is right now, that still could be more than enough.

    One other thing to mention — it’s starting to look like Morton and Smyly are coming around to be the guys we thought they were.

  11. I’m pretty much not writing anywhere else any more — work done got busy!

  12. With all the shenanigans on umps checking substances, it made me wonder. Why aren’t they just checking the balls? Surely an ump could tell if a ball has been “enhanced” and could then check the pitcher if he is suspicious right? Also, what is to stop the catcher from applying substances?

  13. @8 How would that have led to anything different than what is going on right now? I don’t see a problem with how MLB has handled this.

  14. Since the beginning of last year Ender is 35 for 175 (.200 average) with an amazing 6 extra base hits. I know they want to do a contract swap or something, but I see no reason for him sticking around, especially if the only way he can get on base as a starter is via bunt.

    Demeritte is hitting .308 with a 1.091 OPS and 6 homeruns in AAA. I know Arcia is an infielder, but he could easily triple Inciarte’s production in a few games – he already has 11 homers in AAA. Crap, even Camargo could play a decent outfield and potentially provide a lot more production if Snitker would get over his grudge against him. I see no justification for Ender being on the team on July 1.

  15. Ronnie’s been scratched so we’re starting Inciarte, Almonte and Adrianza in the OF tonight. When was the last time the Braves ran out a crappier outfield trio?

  16. @21 On Sunday, July 10th, 2016, the Braves started Chase d’Arnaud in LF, Ender in CF, and Nick Markakis in RF. However, on Sunday, July 17th, 2016, Atlanta started Nick Markakis, Jeff Francoeur and Ender Inciarte, who had OPSes of .690, .682, and .626 at the time, which were actually worse than the outfielders on July 10th. So you’ll have to decide if the answer is clearly the one where Chase d’Arnaud joined Ender and Nick or the one with the objectively worse OPSes.

  17. @22 is one of the most horrifying paragraphs I have ever read in the English language.

  18. Also, I love Mets fans so much.

  19. @26 Haha, I don’t know, but I knew a Sunday in July in 2016 was the exact place to look!

  20. There’s a reason I would not typically recommend calling up a guy with a 1.62 whip, but maybe that’s just me.

  21. This team must be approaching the record for most combined wild pitches and passed balls by a team with no knuckleball pitchers in league history

  22. A fair question is whether Ender would have caught that ball 3 years ago. Even 1 or 2 years ago.

  23. Wright has given up 2 hard hit balls and is losing 3-0. I’m a staunch Wright critic, but this ain’t his fault.

  24. Back to 5GB we go.

    Dont waste the bullpen, let Wright get creamed (or miraculously figure something out).

  25. I spoke too soon. Kyle Wright, Francisco Lindor’s slump buster.

    I know what that actually means! No one tell us!

  26. I’ve been neutral about Wright but he has been all over the place. 5 runs is not surprising to me. He doesn’t have it tonight.

  27. The sad part of Wright’s work tonight is that in one way, his form has improved. At least he hasn’t hit four guys like he did in his April start.

    The dude doesn’t have it. Make him take this one for the team tonight, then send him back down for good.

  28. Ender with an exit velo of 7 mph .

    Once he is eventually released (hopefully) can we permanently refer to him as Ended?

  29. Why on earth did Wright hit for himself … crap, never mind. It doesn’t matter.

  30. I know the Mets have some injuries and they have a good pitching staff, but I just don’t think they are a playoff team. However, the Nationals have won 9 of their last 10. If Atlanta makes a run for the division I have a feeling they will have to go neck and neck with Washington.

  31. We may not win this game, but the BABIP gods are smiling on Freddie. He’s got 2 seeing eye singles tonight.

  32. @37 – We can’t say the man hasn’t given us puns.

    Incidentally, given the pitching in combination with tonight’s lineup, there is a Wright Flag (Write Flag?) joke in here someplace.

  33. 5 behind ? Pick up nothing.
    Mississippi State fans on their way to Omaha. Vanderbilt fans may be leaving.
    Hum 4-2. Maybe not.
    Baseball has become an embarrassment with the checking of pitchers. A joke.
    Isn’t the D H in one league only ENOUGH?

  34. Just what I’ve been thinking all along. Ender was due for a homerun. Well, not really, but I’ll take it

  35. Pablo has been stinking it up lately but he was not anywhere close to swinging on that last at bat. What a horrible, horrible call.

  36. Oh boy. There are pathetic performances in the major leagues on all fronts. College baseball also.
    But than there are the Hawks and Mr. Young. The cat can ball.

  37. How about those Hawks???

    I’ll be back over here with you guys tomorrow night on the Hawks off day, against my better judgment (it’s not you guys, it’s the Braves…just to clear that up, heh).

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